Cliff Chamberlain to Lead The House Theatre's THE IRON STAG KING


The House Theatre of Chicago launches its 11th Season with part one of a brand new trilogy from Artistic Director Nathan Allen and collaborator and Company Member Chris Mathews. The Iron Stag King: Part One begins performances August 31, 2012 at The Chopin Theatre (1543 W Division St.)


Artistic Director Nathan Allen and frequent collaborator and Company Member Chris Mathews return to the trilogy format for this epic myth of crowns and country. The Iron Stag King Trilogy combines the classical fantasy of King Arthur and Norse mythology with uniquely American themes. The trilogy will employ High Fantasy structures to explore the nature of leadership, governance, and the American struggle to balance personal liberty with sacrifice for a greater good.

In this first installment, Casper Kent (played by Brandon Ruiter), is guided by an old storyteller named Hap the Golden (House Company Member Cliff Chamberlain). Hap insists that the orphaned Casper is the rightful heir to a single throne, and that only through him can his beloved land throw off the oppressive forces of Henley Hawthorne. Young Casper must escape The Crownless, win compatriots, and risk his life to claim an ancient and magical hammer capable of uniting them all.

This is The House's first foray into the genre of High Fantasy. Most defined by Tolkien, Dungeons & Dragons gaming, and lately revived by the work of R.R. Martin, these tales are often set in a mythic, medieval world of European influence. But Allen and Mathews have aligned their story with our own evolving nation at the turn of the nineteenth century. Writers and ensemble alike have created a rich world with its own unique, deep history. Replete with magic, dragons, quest, and team-building, The House continues its work exploring the hero's journey through original, engaging myth.


For the first time since becoming a Company Member in 2008, Cliff Chamberlain (The Sparrow, The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz, Hatfield and McCoy) returns to the House stage as Hap the Golden, a powerful storyteller that sets our young hero’s journey in motion. He’s joined by Company Member Joey Steakley stepping into the sinister role of Henley Hawthorne. Returning to the company are guest artists Brandon Ruiter (Rose and the Rime, All the Fame of Lofty Deeds) as the unassuming hero, Casper Kent, Zeke Sulkes (Rose and the Rime) as the wise but brazen Abraham, John Henry Roberts (Wilson Wants It All) as the stoic, secretive Hollow Thom, and Meredith Rae Lyons (Cyrano) as Queen Kathryn. Guest artists Walter Briggs, Paige Collins, Ada Grey, Sam Guinan-Nyhart, Ben Hertel, and Kay Kron round out the cast. Steppenwolf Ensemble Member Tracy Letts lends his voice as the looming villain, Irek.

Company Member Collette Pollard crafts an immersive set in-the-round on the Chopin Mainstage, inviting the audience into a night around the campfire. Company Member Lee Keenan fills the world with Spectacle and Puppetry design, complete with a life-size Iron Stag and a game board upon which our hero’s battles are fought and won. Jeff Award-winning composer and Company Member Kevin O’Donnell once again creates a heart-pounding score to back our heroes’ journey. Guest artists Melissa Torchia (Costumes), Sarah Hughey (Lighting), Harrison Adams (Sound) complete the team.

Join The House for the beginning the epic quest of The Iron Stag King: Part One, playing August 31 through October 21, 2012.


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